Global Fighting Alliance at the Alexander Fulton Convention Center in Alexandria, Louisiana. Andrea is an amateur flyweight (125lb) Champion MMA fighter, a World Champion Muay Thai fighter and the number 1 ranked women's featherweight in the world by the IKF. She is the 2013 Women's National Golden Gloves Boxing champion and a two-time Louisiana state Golden Gloves Champ. Andrea also holds a blue belt in BJJ, a blue belt in Judo and a brown belt in Kyokushin Karate. Fighting out of Karate Mafia MMA in Bossier City, Louisiana we recently caught up with Andrea prior to her big title fight this Saturday for the interview below to learn a little more about her.
How did you get involved in MMA and how long have you been training?
-Growing up in the small east Texas town of Atlanta and being the tomboy that I was, I had always been interested in MMA. I moved to Bossier when I was 19 years old and was waiting tables at Buffalo Wild Wings. Some friends of mine were involved in MMA and all of them thought I should give it a try. They all recommended Karate Mafia and Coach Donny Aaron as the place to go. I met Donny in 2009 and dove into MMA head first. My first competitive experience was as an amateur boxer where I won the Louisiana Golden Gloves and later that year took second in the nation. Since that time, I have gone onto win titles in every discipline in which I have competed, Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ, and MMA.
Where are you currently training, and what's a typical training week like for you?
-Although I am still an amateur fighter (with plans to turn pro this fall) I already train full-time. I work out and work at Karate Mafia which allows me to basically live in the gym. I train approximately 8- 10 hrs per day in two separate 4-5 hour training sessions. I get one rest day per week which is usually on Monday.
Tell us about your upcoming fight, who you're fighting and where?
-My next fight is against 7-3 fighter, Alyssa Vasquez for the Global Fighting Alliance flyweight title in Alexandria, Louisiana. I already have a second fight lined up for March 8th in Memphis, Tennessee for V3 Fights against Jamie Milanowski. Both of these fights promise to be great fights because both girls can really bang and so can I. I expect a grueling war with each of these opponents.
What is your best experience as a fighter? What is your worst?
-My best experience as an MMA fighter is happening right now, this week. Thanks to my good friend and matchmaker Kelly Carson, several major organizations have noticed me and are pitching me professional multi-fight deals. I should be able to announce who I have signed with very soon. It’s pretty awesome to be offered a multi-fight, televised contract before even having my first pro fight.
-My worst experience was losing my Ascend Combat title in my last fight. It was a fight I was winning but foolishly I kept throwing her and completely lost sight of my game plan. I gave Kate an opportunity in the third round and she capitalized and sunk in an arm bar. I haven't slept well since but I'm hoping that by beating Alyssa on the 8th I can put that loss behind me.
How did you get your fight nickname “KGB”?
- Donny started calling me a Russian when I first came to the gym. They all told me I looked like an Eastern European chick. Eventually that just evolved into KGB. I still scratch my head when people ask me what KGB stands for especially when they see it attached to the sickle and hammer logo that I use on my signature apparel.
What advice would you give to other women who are reading this interview and want to get started in MMA?
-My advice to other female fighters is to fight like a man but conduct yourself like a lady. You don't have to look like a boy to be tough. Some girls just try too hard to look tough and end up looking like a chick with an identity crisis. As female athletes, most especially female fighters, we have a lot to prove. There are a lot of sexist people, not just men but confused women too, who try to detract from, and discredit our value in MMA. I have even heard some male fighters refer to WMMA as a lesser product. It is not a lesser product. I would just encourage aspiring female fighters to fight and fight often. Don't make excuses and don't dodge opponents. If you choose to fight then do it for the right reason. Not because it's the "cool" thing to do or because it gets you attention from your friends but because you want to be the best at your craft. Honestly the only reason I enjoy the attention is because it helps me get fights with the best opponents on the biggest shows.
Who are your favorite MMA fighters?
-My favorite female fighters are Cyborg and Joanne Calderwood. On the men's side I'd have to say Lyoto Machida and Donald Cerrone.
How do you enjoy your free time when not training or fighting?
-When you are at the gym 12-14 hrs a day, six days per week you don't have much free time. If I do take a Holiday or a weekend off I enjoy spending it on the beach somewhere or on the lake waterskiing.
For those who will inquire we have a couple questions for the male readership as well.
Are you single?
-I am married to my coach Donny Aaron. Together we have a two year old daughter named Ainslee.
What do you look for in a guy?
-For me, a man has to be strong, physically, emotionally and intellectually. I haven't met many men with that hat trick of qualities until I met Donny so I decided to marry him. lol
What are your turnoffs?
-My biggest turn off are fake tough guys. I absolutely despise men who have a false sense of physical prowess. I like a man who really is tough, but is confident enough to not feel the need to prove it in every situation. I also despise vanity and people who spend too much time in the mirror taking selfies. Mirrors are for shadow boxing.
Lastly before we let you go we would love to hear about your future plans and let you send some shout outs.
Any future plans or dreams?
-I am focused and one tracked toward winning a world title, one fight at a time. Any fighter who is serious about their career, dreams of one day fighting in the UFC. For me it's no different. I won't be satisfied in my career, or in life, unless and until I win a world title on the biggest stage in the world against the best fighters in the world.
Any shout outs you would like to make?
-I'd like to first thank my Coach, mentor and husband Donny Aaron. My other coaches and training partners at Karate Mafia and Elite Combat, Brent Mason, Grandmaster Carol Baker, Jake Dement, Mark Peters, Ajarn Buck Grant, Allen Smith, Derrik Krantz, Drew Arthur, Dustin Burton and Erik Sands. My sponsors who make it possible for me to train full-time: Classic Stone, Stacy and Shawn Howell at Cash Time, Larkin Development, Lees Heating, Air and Electric, Martial Arts Life Apparel and Pro 27 athletics.
Thank you very much for your time Andrea and good luck on fight night! Click here to purchase tickets to Andrea’s fight, click here to see some highlights of her career and send her some shout outs on Facebook!